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26th May: Fringe Benefits

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In these straitened times, where are the avenues for new work and new writing? How can writers build relationships with theatres, both regionally and nationally? Is self-producing an option? How does that impact on efforts to build a sustainable career? A valuable and informative insight into the artistic policies of producing theatres and regional festivals.

Speakers include:

Dan Herd, Artistic Associate, Soho Theatre
Dan Herd is Artistic Associate of Soho Theatre and a freelance theatre director. He has worked as a director at The Old Vic, Theatre Royal Haymarket, Soho Theatre, Arcola Theatre, Theatre503, The Old Red Lion, King’s Head Theatre, Samuel Beckett Theatre (Dublin) and Public Theater (New York). In addition, he has directed over ten major comedy and theatre productions at Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as short work at Latitude Festival. Dan has worked as associate and assistant director at Lyric Hammersmith, The Old Vic, Soho Theatre, Theatre503 and Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre.

Steve Harper, Literary Manager, Theatre 503
Steve Harper has been involved with all of the Theatre503 shows for the past 5 years. He has worked as a freelance theatre director, running his own new writing company ‘Perfect Ambiguity’, worked in various capacities for Paines Plough, the National Theatre, the Young Vic and is the production consultant for JAY Records, a musical theatre record label. His directing credits include ‘For Once I Was’ by Jon Cooper at Tristan Bates Theatre, the London Premiere of Edward Bond’s ‘Have I None’, ‘Stars Fell All Night’ (503), ‘Sleeping Around’ (Jermyn St) ‘Half Life’ (Blue Elephant), ‘Random Acts Of Malice’, ‘Breakdown’, ‘Tube’, and ‘Camp’ (Union), as well as numerous readings and workshops.

David Slack, Director, 24:7 Theatre Festival
David Slack is Exec Producer of 24:7 Theatre Arts Network Ltd, formed in 2004 to support Manchester’s annual 24:7 Theatre Festival. The company is limited by guarantee, a registered charity, and now an Arts Council England National Portfolio Organisation. David oversees the 24:7 Festival process, which embraces the Call for Scripts through to the final performance and beyond, involving the writer at every step. As an actor himself, he loves writing that is active, stimulating, jumps off the page and demands to be performed. 136 productions over eight 24:7 seasons and counting demonstrate that there is an audience for new theatre-making and a critical mass of creatives to develop the work.

Tessa Walker, Associate Director, Birmingham Repertory Theatre
Tessa has been the Literary Director at Paines Plough, a Literary Associate at the National Theatre of Scotland and has recently been made Associate Director at Birmingham Rep. Directing includes: The Gatekeeper by Chloe Moss (Manchester Royal Exchange);The Glee Club by Richard Cameron (Hull Truck); Dream Pill by Rebecca Prichard and Dancing Bears by Sam Holcroft (Soho Theatre), The Red Helicopter by Robin French (The Almeida), She From the Sea by Zawe Ashton (LIFT), Black Crows by Linda Brogan (Arcola Theatre), Orange by Alan Harris (Script Cymru), Debris by Dennis Kelly (Theatre 503,The Traverse Edinburgh and Staatstheater Biennale, Germany)

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